The conclusion of the first round gave us what we expected: the unexpected. A top Alabama defensive lineman fell from a presumed top five pick to pick 17, while his teammate fell to 31 despite being consistently ranked as a top ten pick.
The quarterback-needy Cleveland Browns moved around quite a lot, and teased us with the potential for selecting a quarterback, instead coming away with athletic wunderkinds in Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers and David Njoku.
The Vikings might be happy to see some offensive lineman fall out of the first round and the rest of the league will figure out if the best remaining players are worth the headache of jockeying for position.
Who are those players? Well according to the Consensus Big Board, they include a top-15 player, a top-20 player and two top-25 players. Here they are:
|12||12||12||Dalvin Cook||Florida State||RB||2|
|17||26||13||Forrest Lamp||Western Kentucky||OG||1|
|25||34||19||Malik McDowell||Michigan State||DL3T||1|
|40||42||35||DeShone Kizer||Notre Dame||QB||4|
|51||48||54||Jordan Willis||Kansas State||ER||10|
|52||43||59||Curtis Samuel||Ohio State||WRS||1|
|53||82||44||Derek Rivers||Youngstown State||ER||11|
|54||55||56||Zay Jones||East Carolina||WRF||4|
|58||60||52||Raekwon McMillan||Ohio State||ILB||3|
Why didn’t those five players in the top 32 actually go in the top 32 picks? We can only speculate, but aside from the very good chance that the NFL’s talent evaluation didn’t match up with those of the analysts, there are some clear red flags that might have proven too much for NFL decisionmakers.
Dalvin Cook had a poor set of workouts at the NFL combine and has a number of off-field questions to answer before front offices can be completely confident with him. Forrest Lamp is a small-school player that will likely be asked to play out of position in the NFL—or risk a team hoping he become a massive outlier at the tackle position.
Cam Robinson is a somewhat raw offensive tackle with shoulder and footwork concerns, and developmental tackles have had a bad rap in the NFL as of late. Malik McDowell has a lot of NFL coaches and scouts questioning his attitude and work ethic and Budda Baker is potentially too small for the modern NFL at 5’10”.
All of those concerns likely played a role for the drop of those players, and it will be interesting to see how many of those drops are fluke falls to be snatched up at the top of the second round and which ones will lead to a dramatic drop into round three or beyond.